Wednesday, October 4, 2023
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US-Israel developing joint military capabilities

Dr. Muhammad Akram Zaheer

Although government-to-government relations between the US and Israel are sometimes strained, in contrast, there is a clear understanding between the militaries of the two countries that their relationship will continue and that both countries’ interests are mutually beneficial.

The final moments of the 20-year American presence in Afghanistan until August 2021 were unpleasant. Maj. Gen. Chris Donahue, commander of the 82nd Airborne Division, boarded the last U.S. military flight from Kabul days after 11 U.S. Marines, a Navy corpsman, an Army special operations soldier, and more than 100 Afghans were killed on Karzai Airport.According to an Israeli journalist wrote in 2022 that an Israeli intelligence officer realized that a car bomb was already on its way to the convoy. Taliban operatives attached themselves to the US convoy and detonated hundreds of kilograms of explosives on the Marines. The Intelligence Division is the direct channel to its colleagues at USCENTCOM, the US military’s central command. Israeli intelligence knew what the caravan had to do to avoid the volcano and they moved quickly. On November 15 of this year, CENTCOM Commander General Michael “Eric” Kurilla made his fourth visit to Israel since taking office just seven months earlier. He didn’t just go to talk about Iranrather than his visit to the Northern Command of Israel on the Lebanese border. It is also included to assess Alpha Line threats between Israel and Syria on Rosh Hankara and the Golan Heights, particularly Hezbollah weapons in southern Lebanon, and the arms and explosives smuggling routes between Lebanon and Syria. According to General Michael Eric, the Israeli Air Force maintains world-class air power with the most advanced systems, the highest level of professionalism and first-class combat capability. including our long-standing, iron-clad partnership are critical to regional security and stability. All these visits to the region make aware of the threats and challenges to each country faces and the capabilities available. The visit reinforced the importance of this relationship and the many opportunities before us for the Middle East.

During General Eric’s visit, IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Aviv Kohavi said the two countries were “rapidly developing joint military capabilities” against Iran and “other threats in the Middle East”. In November, Kohavi arrived in Washington for talks with senior US officials. According to an Israeli military journal, the talks included the possibility of joint action against the Islamic Republic of Iran. “We are working together on all fronts and to prepare for this.”In late November, anonymous sources told the Israeli daily YediotAharonot that Israeli defense officials said the United States would support an Israeli attack to destroy the Iranian nuclear program. Sources said that US decision-makers realize that Iran is a threat to world peace and the world order.

The recent joint exercises and a joint missile defense test.In July, Israel has tested its entire defense array against rockets and ballistic missiles. In parallel, the US also has tested its Patriot, AEGIS, and THAAD systems. The Defense Ministry said the replica was housed in a unique testing facility to provide real-time data and enable in-depth debriefing.In November, the US and Israeli air forces has conducted three-day exercises over the Mediterranean Sea and Israel. Unlike previous joint exercises with CENTCOM in the Red Sea, this one was may not designed to provoke Iran. However, the capabilities they used will certainly worry Tehran. “They are practicing fighter escort and aerial refueling,” said Brig. According to Pentagon spokesman General Pat Ryder “This is a long planning exercise and it is also not something that is unusual”.

This is not true at all. Although the Biden administration has seemingly abandoned its intention to use diplomacy to re-engage Iran and find a path to a revised JCPOA, the idea that the U.S. military might take a different path Proceeding with the exercises is, in fact, unusual.

There was a time when CENTCOM officials were ordered not to visit Israel, part of the US European Command (EUCOM), until 2021. Joseph Votel became the first commander to make an official visit in 2018.Even when Israel was still in EUCOM, it already had contacts in CENTCOM that worked to the US’s advantage. These contacts saved lives in Afghanistan. Likewise, the move to CENTCOM did not completely eliminate Israeli capability from Europe. Israel has used its status as a “major non-NATO ally” to provide intelligence to Kyiv about Iranian drones being used by Russia to attack Ukraine. Heading into 2023, the US military clearly sees its Israeli counterpart as an important part of the US security equation, regardless of the political equation.

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